One of the main highlights of Christian living is obedience to God. By obeying God, believers acknowledge God’s sovereign authority in their lives. In other words, obedience is letting God have the final word. It involves a deliberate denial of personal interests and instincts and a conscious surrender to God’s will entirely with no ‘ifs’ and ‘buts’.
Sadly obedience is where Christian Believers struggle and lack. This is not new anyway. Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden by eating the forbidden fruit. From this point forward everyone born of man has found it almost impossible to obey God. On the one hand believers sing “All to Jesus I surrender…” while holding back pet desires, making choices guided by self interest and deliberately ignore God’s voice.
Obedience to God sure is hard but not impossible. Jesus stepped in to a ‘disobedient’ world to make a difference and His obedience to the cross makes it possible for everyone who follows Him to obey God. A believer in Christ is distinguished from others simply because of a life of obedience to God and His purposes.
Stephen, the first martyr of the Church brings ‘disobedience’ as the prime charge against the Council of Elders who had gathered together to accuse him. Acts 7 records Stephen’s defense. He begins in a very soft tone, recalling the History of God’s Nation, Israel and abruptly pulls the break on his audience by accusing them of the one thing that led to the downfall of Israel by saying, “you who have received the law that was given through angels but have not obeyed it.”(Acts 7:53)
The crowd listening to Stephen reacted by stoning him. They believed that by doing so, they turned off the disobedience in their lives. Did murdering Stephen absolve the Nation from God’s condemnation? Not at all. Killing Stephen could not kill their conscience or their deliberate intensions to disobey.
Today, Christian Believers who profess to know Christ continue to struggle with obeying God. While it seems easy to wear the Christian badge, give away tithes, participate in outreach and attend Bible Study, Believers have failed to transform in their character, thinking, lifestyle and preferences. Hours of Bible reading and prayer have proved futile for most Believers have become forgetful hearers of the word and not doers.
Take a look at your own life today. Is your Bible Study, Church attendance and prayer effort producing a change in the way you think, talk, relate, give and make choices? Do you hear God? If you do, have you obeyed? Do you find yourself trying to turn off His leading simply because what He says is far from what you want?
Disobedience cost a lot for the Nation Israel. It not only deprived their Holy status as God’s people but brought them under God’s judgment. If God did not spare Israel from punishment, He will certainly not spare anyone else. With God there is no partiality.
Ask God to forgive your disobedience, invite Him back into your life, allow Him to rule over you and live a life of true obedience and total surrender, before it gets too late.
Here are two books on obeying God for further reading.
Buy "From Broken to Blessed: How Simple Obedience to God Can Change Your Life" by David G Piper from the Amazon Store
Buy "Deuteronomy: Loving Obedience to a Loving God (Preaching the Word)" by Ajith Fernando from the Amazon Store